It goes like this. I reached a point in my life nine years ago where I decided it was the right time to get a dog. Although my family always had dogs, dogs that I grew up with and loved, none was my very own, and that's what I wanted, my very own dog. I wanted a female Chocolate Lab puppy. Little did I know that the pup that would be my Christmas present that year had already been born at the time I reached that decision. Nine years ago today, in fact.
Our years together have cost me in many ways. In books and frames, window ledges and shoes, in trips to the emergency vet and two surgeries to replace her knees, and many many food items swiped from the counter tops in my house and the houses of others.
Still, the rewards have been much greater. I got the dog I wanted, and that is to say that what I have is a friend. Cheyenne and I have walked many miles together and seen countless sun rises along the way. Over the past nine years, we swam in rivers and surf, in lakes and ponds. We've climbed mountains and trekked through the snow together. I've watched her baby blue eyes turn an autumn gold. We've run in the rain and played fetch in many parks and yards and even in a couple houses. We've spent days and weeks at the cabin together, free to explore where my eye or her nose led us. I've tripped over her more than once, and she's tipped more than one canoe. She keeps me shaking my head in constant amusement at her antics, whether it's freaking out that her feet are being touched, eating the Easter candy, or backing up to me and growling when she wants me to scratch her back.
And she's been a tremendous source of warmth and comfort to me in times of terrible grief.
She's a quirky one, this girl of mine. She's eager, and happy. She's both serious and silly, dramatic and goofy, and she has a whole bag of odd behavior that never ceases to make me smile. She has her moments of pause and her moments of explosive, butt-tucking enthusiasm, and every day when I get home, she's right at the top of the stairs, tail in full wag with a smile that's all her own spread across her face and crinkling her nose.
She's a little bit crazy and a lot of dork. If you know her, then right now you are shaking your head in agreement.
She has a boyfriend, the strappingly handsome yellow Lab, Isaac. He plays Forest to her Jenny, which is to say that he is completely smitten with her. And tolerant. And that they go together like peas and carrote. They have fun together. Oh what fun they have!
She's my friend is what she is, and she's a great one, bless her little brown self. She and I, we're two in a row. I can't really imagine what the past nine years would have been like without her by my side to show me the way and remind me that life? It's good stuff.